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Jesus is My Candidate?

We’re almost there.

November is coming, and with it Election Day. Then maybe all this will subside. Right now you can’t go anywhere – in real life or on the internet – without being bombarded by politics. It’s the worst sort too: ugly, deceitful, angry, self-righteous politics from every corner.

But what if, instead of Mitt Romney or Barack Obama, we had another option? What if we could say, as the trending conversation on Twitter is saying tonight, that #JesusIsMyCandidate? Wouldn’t Jesus combine the best of both parties, while shunning the ugly side of politics?

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time He has been nominated.

There’s a story in the Gospels about a group of people who tried to “make Him their king by force.” (John 6:15). After all, He had everything you could want in a President. In a move that would make any liberal jealous, He had just created a spontaneous supplemental nutrition program that fed over 5000 hungry citizens. But at the same time, He had all the religious qualifications that would appeal to a conservative – they acknowledged that He was a prophet sent straight from God. As the crowd started chanting His name and waving His sign, all He had to do was give His victory speech and move into the White House. Finally, the upstart activist with a grassroots following would have a place to lay his head.

Instead, He took off for the mountains. Jesus refused to be their candidate.

The funny thing about this story is that the crowd was “trying to make Him their king by force.” They didn’t realize that He was already the King of the whole universe. (What more could a ragtag mob of villagers add to His authority, really?)  It’s the same mistake Peter made when he drew his sword; that’s why Jesus had to remind him that the Kingdom of God is not a kingdom of this world.

I think sometimes we do the same thing; we try to force Jesus into our petty political plans instead of submitting to the authority He’s already established. But it really doesn’t work.

He slips away to someplace quieter, more spiritual, and invites us to follow Him.

Jesus could never fit into our political system. Rather than trying to force Him in anyway, let’s become citizens of His Kingdom. In the Kingdom of God, the highest ruler is the servant of everyone else. Rather than vying for power, He kneels and serves. The helpless, naive child is picture of perfection. And instead of defeating His opponents, the King dies to save them.

published September 17, 2012

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